Insights about tuning an Apache Camel application deployed into Spring Boot

Introduction

Tuning is a very interesting topic in the field of Software Engineering. Everybody can agree that it’s important but I have  rarely seen people actually doing it. This can be especially true when people have spare computational resources to spend, or if they are following these mantras: “the load won’t reach at this point” or “let the cloud scale it.”

The goal of this post is to share some insights regarding tuning an Apache Camel application deployed into Spring Boot. This is not an ultimate guide for tuning and performance tests in Spring Boot applications, but more of an experience sharing during a tuning process.

When talking about tuning and performance tests, one thing that needs to be clear is the requirements, or what do you want to achieve by tuning an application. For example, one could say that with the computational resources they have, they aim for a 10% increase of requests the application can handle.

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Six typical integration challenges that agile integration can solve

Red Hat conceived the agile integration concept to help our customers tackle integration challenges more effectively. As we described in an earlier post in detail, agile integration is an architectural approach centered around application programming interfaces (APIs) and API management. At its core, this concept resides on the following three pillars: distributed integration for greater flexibility, containers for the ability to scale better, and managed APIs for re-usability and hence speed.

When we started designing this concept we actually started from two premises:

  1. Agility today is the most important business capability — especially for incumbents in traditional markets.
  2. Every organisation has integration problems.

Typically in most companies nowadays the integration function is centralized and hence technically as well as organizationally a bottleneck. Our two premises contradict each other and we set out to design an integration concept that can solve this contradiction.

In order to come up with a solution that really helps our customers solve their integration problems in the best possible way, we first analysed the market to understand what actually are the problems that users are trying to solve. Although there are of course a very wide variety of often very fine-nuanced problems, it turned out that we could classify all the problems into six typical integration challenges. The following diagram summarizes these challenges and we then discuss each of them in more detail.

Agile Integration: Six Challenges

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Meet application integration in the times of hybrid cloud

The concept of agile integration, depending on whom you ask, may appear as a contradiction in terms. Integration is a concept that used to be associated with “slow,” “monolithic,” “only to be touched by the expert team,” etc.. Big and complex legacy enterprise service buses connected to your applications were the technology of choice at a time when agility was not a requirement, when the cloud was barely an idea, when containers were associated with maritime shipping and not with application packaging and delivery.

Can the principles of agile development be combined with those of modern integration? Our response is yes, and we call it  agile integration. Let me show you what it is, why it is important, and what we at Red Hat are doing about it.

Software development methodologies have evolved rapidly in the last few years to incorporate innovative concepts that result in faster development cycles, agility to react to changes and immediate business value. Development now takes place in small teams, changes can be approved and incorporated fast to keep track of the changing demands of the business, and each iteration of the code has a product as the ultimate result. No more need for longer development cycles and never-ending approvals for changes. And importantly, business and technical users join forces and collaborate to optimize the end result.

In addition, modern integration requires agility, cloud-readiness, and support of modern integration approaches. In contrast with the legacy, monolithic ESBs, modern integration is lightweight, pattern-based, scalable, and able to manage complex, distributed environments. It has to be cloud-ready and support modern architectures and deployment models like containers. It also has to provide integration services with new, popular technologies, like API management, which is becoming the preferred way to integrate applications and is at the core of microservices architectures. And support innovative and fast evolving use cases such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Announcing: Red Hat Fuse 7 is now available

After several technical previews over the last few months, Red Hat Fuse is officially available. This is a significant release, both for Fuse itself and for integration platforms, because it represents a shift from more traditional, on-premise, centralized integration architecture to distributed, hybrid environment integration architecture.

Integration itself has historically been a bottleneck for infrastructure design and changes. The integration points were largely centralized and controlled by a central team in an attempt to manage dependencies and standardize data management between applications. However, that centralization also made change difficult, and it was governed more by procedure and bureaucracy than business innovation. As with traditional infrastructure architecture more generally, integration has not historically been an agile or adaptive architecture.

Red Hat Fuse (and related community projects) is the beginning of a departure from traditional, rigid integration platforms to more agile, distributed integration design. Fuse introduces three major features in the latest release:

  • Fuse Online, fully hosted Fuse applications and integrations. Fuse Online provides immediate access to the functionality of Fuse, without having to install and configure it on-premise. Developers can begin testing and customizing integrations immediately. Connectors can be uploaded to the online development area to allow even more integrations.
  • Fuse container images for Red Hat OpenShift. Fuse runs natively on OpenShift, allowing local, containerized integration points to be created in development teams and to be designed, tested, and updated within DevOps workflows as part of the overall application development cycle.
  • A drag-and-drop UI for integration pattern design. While integration development is typically done within IT teams, integration design relies on business knowledge. Business managers and analysts need to be able to collaborate effectively with their development teams. The new Fuse Ignite UI (based on the Syndesis.io project) is a lowcode way to develop integration — business users can use design elements to create integration architectures and to work with their development teams, within the same tool set.

These three features allow more agile integration development. Fuse installations can span online, on-premise, or container based environments without reducing functionality. This allows an integration platform that crosses environments, and be as lightweight and decentralized as an individual development team or an enterprise-wide platform. The lowcode UI allows business users to be brought directly into the application development cycle, enabling business logic to be incorporated into the integration application design from the beginning.

Additionally, Fuse 7 contains these new features:

  • Support for Spring Boot deployment for Fuse applications
  • 50 new application connectors (with a total of over 200 included connectors)
  • A new monitoring subsystem
  • Updated component versions, including new versions of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and Apache Camel
  • A new name (Red Hat Fuse, rather than Red Hat JBoss Fuse)

 

Additional Resources

Why are our Application Platform Partners succeeding in Digital Transformation?

Last year we set out to start the Application Platform Partner Initiative with the objective to enable deeper collaboration with partners focused on application platform and emerging technologies. We planned to create a collaborative go-to-market strategy between Red Hat and participating partner organizations focused on optimizing the value chain for application development and integration projects.

The Application Platform Partner Initiative focuses on Application Development-related and other emerging technology offerings, which revenue increased 42% in our last fiscal year up to $624 million. Partners like the APPs are contributing to this growth and we are happy to see the momentum continuing, and their trust on Red Hat as a strategic partner. What started out as a pilot has developed into a fully fledged initiative with 28 partners across North America, who are as committed as we are to the role opens source plays at the core of digital transformation.

As part of the success of this initiative, for the first time this year, we have created the Application Platform Partner Pavilion in Red Hat Summit.  Arctiq, Crossvale, Kovarus, Levvel, Li9, Lighthouse, OSI, Shadow-Soft, VeriStor and Vizuri will join us this year in the pavilion. Don’t miss a chance to get to know the advanced solutions they have created on top of Openshift and Red Hat Middleware products, which they will be showcasing at Red Hat Summit. Check out, for example, Arctiq Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Crossvale CloudBalancer for Red Hat® OpenShift or Vizuri log aggregation solutions.

These partners are delivering a strong investment in enablement, and commitment in their go-to-market alliance with Red Hat, including co-marketing and sales collaboration. As some examples of planned activities, Arctiq is running a Modern Mobile App Development event and Crossvale an OpenShift roadshow).

Levvel has been an active participant in the APP program, doing joint webinars, customer workshops and panel discussions to promote Red Hat emerging technologies. As a result, they have influenced and closed quite a few customers and have a long list of potential opportunities. Don’t forget to attend their coming up event “App Transformation Workshop: Monoliths to Microservices”!

Shadow-Soft has been particularly focused on growing the customer base with our OpenShift and JBoss product family with innovative sales and marketing strategies that are turning into a growing pipeline of opportunities, and running events around digital transformation.

Veristor joined recently the APP program and is growing rapidly their different practices around OpenShift and Red Hat Middleware, like DevOps and Agile Consulting, Services and Software Development practice.

OSI, an international company with a long experience with JBoss, is also growing in the US and have worked on an Agile Integration demo environment focusing on JBoss Fuse Integration platform to support their customer engagements, including integration with cloud and on-premise systems. Try to attend their “Monoliths to Microservices: App Transformation Workshop” right after Summit.

Vizuri has been a Red Hat partner for over 10 years. Having delivered more than 120 JBoss-related engagements, their JBoss experience and expertise helps customers reduce risk and improve time-to-value, while avoiding project delays and unplanned downtime. You can’t miss their take on How To Manage Business Rules In A Microservices Architecture using OpenShift and JBoss BRMS.

Having recently joined the APP program, Astellent has heavily invested in enablement and marketing, while achieving exciting customer success. Read their views on the newly launched Red Hat Decision Manager 7.

Lighthouse has been helping businesses with the right mix of Red Hat’s public, on-premises, and hybrid cloud technologies, customizing them to fit their unique business needs. They have also been active with unique marketing events like the one with the Red Sox coming in May.

As you can see, APP partners are working closely with Red Hat to establish a sales, marketing, and delivery practice around Red Hat technologies, including Red Hat JBoss Middleware, Red Hat OpenShift, and Red Hat Mobile Application Platform.

In the words of John Bleuer, VP, Strategic Partners, North America, “I am thrilled that as year one of the program ends, the sophistication of our partner solutioning and delivery abilities has increased dramatically; many partners are working with us in industry and line of business (including healthcare, payments, and e-commerce); other partners are adding sophistication into the DevOps / automation practices with Openshift, Jenkins, and Ansible, while others are honing their skills delivering app modernization and integration & BPM solutions in a cloud native environment, containerized in OpenShift.  It’s an exciting time at Red Hat”.

The market is looking to digital transformation initiatives to grow and maintain competitive advantage. Challenges range from confined platforms to complex architectures, from rigid processes to lack of agility. Together with our partners, we can play a critical role to help our customers overcome those to become growing, competitive organizations.

We hope to see you at Red Hat Summit checking them out, as well as at the Red Hat Summit Ecosystem Expo!

Announcing Red Hat Fuse 7.0 Technical Preview 3

On November 2, 2017, we announced the technical preview of a new low-code integration platform called Red Hat Fuse Online. This technical preview provided a first chance for users to experience the new platform and provide feedback.

Building on the feedback we’ve received with the  Red Hat Fuse Online technical preview, we are happy to announce the Red Hat Fuse 7.0 technical preview 3 (TP3).

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The Role of Agile Integration in Open Banking

In the mid 90s, Bill Gates famously said that “banking is necessary, banks are not.” There is certainly a lot of truth in this statement. We all need banking services in some shape or form. But who delivers these services to us is secondary. In fact, Accenture concluded in a study conducted in 2016 asking over 30,000 people in 18 countries that if the tech titans like Google, Amazon, or Facebook would offer such services, 31% of the respondents would switch to them. This clearly imposes a significant threat on traditional banking institutions.

Another challenge that banks are facing worldwide are the increasing demands for regulatory compliance with respect to openness. Such regulations include, for instance, Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) in Europe, the Amendment Bill to Japanese Banking Law in Japan, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) with the Unified Payment Interface, UK’s Open Banking standard by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), or the Open Banking Regime by Australia’s Federal Government. Banks approach these regulatory challenges in many different ways. Some see it as a serious business threat and only do the bare minimum for compliance; others see it as an opportunity and with smart investment start building banking platforms for the future.

Our suggestion for building the banking platform of the future resides on the principles of agile integration, which is an architectural approach centered around application programming interfaces (APIs) and API management. At its core, agile integration resides on the three pillars: distributed integration for greater flexibility, containers for the ability to scale better, and managed APIs for re-usability and hence speed. We described the details in an earlier post.  

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How to Address the Challenges of a Pervasive Integration Strategy

Earlier this months at the Gartner ITxpo event, Massimo Pezzini presented the challenges that must be addressed by a pervasive enterprise integration strategy. In summary there are four types of hybrid challenges (see Massimo’s diagram below).

Gartner-HiP

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Announcing Red Hat Fuse Online Technical Preview

On May 2, 2017, we announced a new open source project called Syndesis.io. Syndesis.io provides a low code environment for agile integration. We also demonstrated key capabilities at the Red Hat Summit 2017 keynote.

Building on our foundational work in Syndesis.io, we have expanded those capabilities into a new product and are happy to announce Red Hat Fuse Online as a technical preview.

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What is agile integration?

**This post was updated on September 26, 2018.**

If you Google the term “agile integration,” you’ll come up with about 30 million results, but they focus heavily on one area: continuous integration within agile development. That definition of agile integration is based on the build environment.

However, it is possible to have another definition for “agile integration,” one that looks at the platform architecture.

In this definition, “agile” doesn’t relate to the process or the infrastructure, but to the flexibility and adaptability–the agility–of the application architecture. Integration within this context has a more strategic role, as the architectural framework that defines the interoperability of services and with a focus on the application functionality.

Check out this e-book to learn more about Agile Integration: The Blueprint for enterprise architecture.

Traditional vs. agile as an architectural approach

There are functional similarities between traditional integration and agile integration – like routing, connectivity, and orchestration capabilities. The difference between traditional enterprise application integration and agile integration is not in the tasks performed, but in the strategic perspective of those tasks. Put simply, integration can be viewed as a necessary but often limited part of the infrastructure (traditional) or it could be viewed as the core framework of the application architecture (agile).

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